Planter of green pastures where we might be fed;
Pooler of waters which nourish us forever;
Shaper of paths which lead us into your presence:
all that you made is beautiful and good
and given to those created in your image.
Sadly, our wisdom leads us to choose hunger
over the feast you prepare for us;
we thirst in the deserts
when we could drink deeply
from your grace;
we stumble off those paths
leading to your holy presence.
Yet you continue to seek us out,
to bring us home to your kingdom,
preparing a feast for those who will not respond
to your gracious invitation.
Therefore, we lift our voices to you day and night,
with those gathered around your throne
and with those who struggle to be faithful today,
singing your praise and our thanksgiving:
P: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of goodness and mercy.
Ggreen pastures and summer nights are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the One who lays down his life for your children.
Hosanna in the highest.
Holy are you, Shepherd of all people,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,
one with you in every respect.
For your name’s sake,
he left the green pastures
to climb the garbage heap of Golgotha;
he waded out of the living waters
to be drenched with the abuse of the world;
he wandered the streets of the kingdom
covered with the dust of sin and death
to lead us into the kingdom of joy.
As we seek to follow the Good Shepherd
into all the places he would lead us,
we celebrate that mystery we call faith:
P: The Good Shepherd walked through the darkest valley;
the Good Shepherd prepares a Table for us;
the Good Shepherd abides in us.
Pour out your Holy Spirit
upon these gifts of the bread and the cup
you have prepared for your Table.
As the bread which is broken
makes us whole,
and the cup overflows with your grace,
so pour us out for others:
so we may offer shelter
to those who have no home;
so we may comfort those
whose hearts are broken by the world;
so we may share food
with all who ache from hunger;
so we may guide the thirsty
to the pools of life we have found.
And when our journey is ended,
when we are at home in the soft, green pastures,
resting by the still waters, we will find that Feast
of grace, mercy, and hope you prepare for us,
and we will join with our companions
from every time and place, singing joy to you:
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.